tartups are coming up everywhere and big businesses are looking to expand. As a result, there’s a lot of competition. And it’s mostly happening online.
To get new customers and retain the current ones, marketers are spending more money than before. Much of this money is going towards outsourcing writing services.
If you’re a freelance writer or have been thinking of becoming one, then read on.
We understand that the availability of opportunities may not mean easy access to them. And so, despite businesses looking for writers, many of you are struggling to land writing jobs.
Is there a better way of helping you out other than to point you to where these jobs are and show you how to access them?
In this article, you’ll find all the information you need to get started as a professional freelance writer and land great writing gigs. And once you implement these ideas, you’ll see that it’s possible to make money as a digital nomad.
You might also want to bookmark this page as a reference which you can easily come back to later.
Let’s get started.
6 Steps to Help You Prepare (and Land More Freelance Writing Gigs)
If you want success, you must plan for it, right?
Here are six things you should do to set yourself up for success as a freelance writer.
1. Create a Compelling Writing portfolio
To be a successful writer, you must have a portfolio that clearly shows your ability to help a client achieve his business goals. When a client goes through your writing portfolio, he should see the benefits your writing will bring to his business.
Before creating your writing portfolio, first of all decide what you want the portfolio to communicate. What’s the end goal you have in mind?
Common objectives for creating a writing profile include selling your writings to a publisher, hunting for a job and increasing the visibility of your writing business.
How to Create a Compelling Writing Portfolio
To have a writing portfolio that serves its purpose, you’ll have to implement some design tactics. Not that you should be a designer, but the look and feel of your portfolio will determine how well it performs.
Here are some tips to help you come up with a stunning and effective writing portfolio.
- Use a simple layout – the layout of your portfolio should be simple and easy to navigate. Every design element should work towards marketing your abilities. You can easily achieve a professional-looking portfolio by using a WordPress plugin like Elementor.
- Make it easy to read – readability is a major factor when it comes to written text. Check the line and paragraph spacing as well as the fonts you use. Font sizes 14-16pt are ideal as they won’t strain the eyes of your readers.
- Ensure it’s mobile-friendly – considering that over 50% of internet users browse the internet using mobile devices, it’s very likely that your portfolio will be viewed using a smartphone or tablet. You need to ensure that it will display correctly on mobile.
- Use images that load quickly – you’ll need images on your portfolio and these can potentially slow down the loading of your pages. Avoid bulky images by compressing them using free online services to ensure they load quickly.
- Include relevant samples – decide which niches you want to write in and make this clear from the samples on your portfolio. Any awards you display as well as the testimonials you use should also reflect your niche/industry of choice.
- Organize your samples by type – organize your writing samples by type so as to show the different types of writing jobs you can do. You can categorize your samples by blog articles, social media posts, white papers, landing page copy, press release etc.
- Include a CTA – as much as your portfolio is showcasing your writing prowess, you want the person viewing it to take some action. Whether you want prospects to buy your work or hire you, include a CTA message that guides them on what to do.
Online Portfolio Sites to Publish Writing Samples
Your writing samples need to be published online for them to be visible by potential clients. There are various portfolio websites you can choose from. Here are three of the best:
With over 100,000 users, Clippings.me is a good choice for your portfolio website needs. It has also won the hearts of some big names including HubSpot, The Writer Magazine and journalism.co.uk.
Some of the most noteworthy features of Clippings.me include:
- Add up to 10 samples with a free account
- They have a journalist directory where clients can search for journalists
- You can add samples either by URL or PDFs
- Integrates with Google Analytics for stats about your profile visits
- You can use a custom URL
2. Journo Portfolio
Journo Portfolio boasts of a diverse user base including journalists, copywriters, bloggers and even translators. It provides hundreds of ways to customize your portfolio for a truly unique feel.
The top features include:
- You can choose from multiple themes
- Create multiple pages and sections
- Displays well on both desktop and mobile, including tablets
- You can publish samples directly to the site
- Provides a contact form for portfolio viewers to get in touch
Carbonmade has been creating portfolio tools for creatives for over 15 years. Portfolios created using Carbonmade are highly responsive, optimized for mobile and can be customized using unlimited layout designs.
Carbonmade’s top features include:
- Unlimited uploads of images, videos, audios and PDFs
- Customize everything from colors and fonts to your portfolio’s navigation
- Has a Talent Pool where clients can find and hire you
- Mobile and tablet ready
- Comes with social media integration
2. Improve Your Writing Skills
To earn a good income, one that can facilitate a comfortable lifestyle, you need to be a good writer. This will only happen if you commit yourself to constantly improve your writing skills.
Becoming a skilled writer is a sure way of guaranteeing continuous work from clients who easily see the quality of your work. They will value your work and even be willing to pay you higher rates for it.
Here are five simple ways you can keep your writing skills improving:
- Write as often as possible – writing is a skill which has to be practiced. Just pick a topic of interest and start writing. Write as you would if it were a client’s assignment. Soon enough, you’ll find yourself becoming better at everything from ideas and grammar to flow and style.
- Always use an outline – an outline may seem like something that interferes with the flow of your creative juices but it doesn’t. Using an outline will help you arrange the topic and sub-topics you’re discussing and also guide you on the flow of the whole content.
- Research your niche – as a writer, you’ll be informing people and communicating your expertise. To be an expert, you have to read and stay ahead of your readers. That means doing a lot of research to know what’s going on in your niche.
- Write in simple language – unless you’re writing a scientific paper, you should always aim for a 4th-8th grade reading level. Avoid slang as well as unnecessary jargon to ensure your writing can be understood by as many readers as possible.
- Write first then edit later – for your writing to flow smoothly, write without thinking much about how it’s coming out. Once you’re done with this first draft, take a break then come back to edit. This way, you’ll avoid the writer’s block and finish your writing faster.
Online Courses to Improve Your Writing Skills
You should consider learning and improving your writing skills from the best writers. Taking an online course will help you learn faster than if you decided to learn everything through personal experience.
Here are three writing courses you can take today on Udemy.
1. The complete copywriting course
With copywriting being one of the best-paying types of writing, this course will teach you how to write effective copy that drives sales and grows your client’s businesses.
On top of the 3 hours of teaching, buying this course will also give you:
- Full lifetime access
- 5 articles
- 20 downloadable resources
- Access on mobile and TV
- Certificate of completion
2. Writing with confidence
Confidence as a writer is key to writing well and charging clients accordingly. Since building confidence can take time, take the shortcut and learn from a Cambridge University writing teacher.
This course runs for five and a half hours and includes:
- Full lifetime access
- 32 articles
- 14 downloadable resources
- Certificate of completion
3. Writing with flair
Is there a better way to make money writing than to be taught by a former Wall Street Journal editor?
Shani Raja’s writing course runs for 7 hours and was recently updated with new content and resources. It also includes:
- Full lifetime access
- 3 articles
- 4 downloadable resources
- Access on mobile and TV
- Certificate of completion
3. Ask for Client Testimonials
Client testimonials are a powerful sales tool. They convince prospects that you can deliver the results they need because you’ve done it for others.
And the best part is that you’re not the one saying it; your clients are the ones testifying to your abilities.
The question is, do you have client testimonials? Have you ever asked for them?
Most writers don’t ask for testimonials from their clients, even those happy with their work. This is mostly out of fear that the clients may say no. For others though, it’s an issue of not understanding the value of testimonials.
How to Ask for a Client Testimonial
Asking a client for a testimonial shouldn’t be difficult. Just follow these tips and you’ll soon get your first testimonial. From there, you’ll have the confidence of asking every time you finish a project.
- Ask via email – asking for a testimonial through email is easier than through a one-on-one conversation. Keep the email short and send it immediately after the completion of a project. This way, your good work is still fresh in the client’s mind
- Create urgency – your client may be busy and end up forgetting about your request. To get the testimonial quickly, ask him whether he can write it in a day or two. Remember to tell him that you’ll appreciate it.
- Follow up once only – if you don’t get the testimonial within two days, don’t be discouraged and give up. Send a polite follow up reminder. Do this once only to avoid coming across as desperate and bothersome. If you don’t get it, move on.
- Capture spontaneous testimonials – if in the course of a conversation a client expresses his love for your work, ask whether you can use his words as a testimonial. He will most likely agree. That will save you some pressure and time.
- Write one for the busy client – there are clients who can be so busy that they don’t have a minute to write you a testimonial. You can help by writing one for them then asking whether it reflects their thoughts. If they agree, you win.
Email Template for Asking for a Client Testimonial
Client testimonials show that you’re good at what you do and put you in a position where you can ask for high rates. To help you get there, here is an email template you can use to ask for client testimonials.
It’s short, straight to the point, and also creates a sense of urgency to encourage the client to sacrifice a few minutes and get done with it.
I’m happy to know that you loved the results I helped you achieve for your project.
Could you write a short testimonial which I can include in my list of satisfied clients? Just a few words about my work and how it improved your business will do.
Also, if you could do this in a day or two, I’ll really appreciate it.
Thanks a lot, [FirstName].
In case you suspect that the client might not be able to respond soon or might struggle to come up with the right words, you could help them. Just add a line like the one below right before the “Thanks a lot” line:
In case you’re not sure what exactly to write, I can come up with one based on our interaction and project results, then share with you for approval.
The important thing is to maximize the opportunity you have to get a great client testimonial.
4. Learn How to Write a Magnetic Author Bio
Your author bio is the text you write about yourself and it comes right after your blog post. This short piece of text becomes more important once you start guest posting.
Guest posts are essential for increasing your visibility and driving traffic to your site or online portfolio. To capitalize on this opportunity, give your author bio the attention it deserves.
Take a few minutes and think through the most valuable and attractive pieces of information you can put together for an author bio. Make it one that readers can’t resist clicking on to follow through to your website.
Pro Tip: When writing your author bio, use the third person point of view. Also keep it short; less than 100 words is ideal.
Here are some tips to help you write an author bio which makes prospects want to contact you:
- Let your personality flow – your personality is important when creating connections. Let your personality show in your choice of words and tone. Also mention something fun about yourself like hobbies or an interesting fact.
- Be specific – if you’re for example looking for writing gigs, say it. Specify which kind of writing you do e.g. ghostwriting, as well as your specialization e.g copywriting. Also include the niches you write in.
- Show your expertise – mention your performance record and include numbers. An example of this would be the number of conversions you helped a client achieve. Also mention any publications your work has been featured on.
- Link to your landing page or portfolio – include a link to your landing page or website from where prospects can learn more about your work and contact you. If you don’t have these yet, link your author bio to your online portfolio.
Author Bio Example
Here’s an example of an author bio that tells a prospect who the writer is and what achievements she’s made. The words she uses to describe what she does clearly bring out her personality. By mentioning her blog, she tells potential clients how they can reach her.
Mel Wicks is a seasoned copywriter and marketing strategist who helps bloggers and entrepreneurs put the ‘OMG! Where do I sign up?’ oomph to their online marketing; and blogs about the highs and lows of being a nomadic freelance writer.
5. Know How to Pitch Your Services to Clients
Is pitching scary and difficult?
Many freelance writers believe so.
Although this is understandable, you need to start pitching. Pitching opens doors to clients with bigger budgets, which means you can earn more and enjoy life more.
Also, landing one big client through pitching will lead to high-quality referrals. This results in continuous work from well-paying clients.
Here are some quick tips to implement in your pitches:
- Research your leads – take time to research your prospects and find out whether they need your services. Check if they have a blog and whether it’s updated. Find the right person to contact and identify something good to mention about their work.
- Attract through the subject line – the subject line in an email often determines the open rate. People also avoid spam-looking emails. Make your subject line relevant by mentioning your service and pointing to the potential need for it.
- Offer value – the best way to show a client that they need your services is by offering value. Focus on the benefits your writing service will bring. To know what benefits to highlight in your pitch, research your client and his business to know their needs.
- Provide social proof – have you helped anyone achieve their content marketing goals? Prospects need to know about it. Your pitch should show this in one way or another. You can use client testimonials, positive reviews of your services or anything serving the purpose.
- Sign off with confidence – you might have a stellar pitch but that’s not a guarantee that every prospect will hire you. All the same, your pitch should express confidence in your abilities and leave prospects feeling that they should engage you further.
Example Email Pitch
Here is an example of a cold pitch email you could tweak for your specific situation.
Email subject: [Hotel Name] Blog Content
Hey [Marketing Director’s first name],
I came across your website when researching travel destinations in Canada. I’ve seen that you provide high-quality services and like that you’re located in the Greater Toronto Area, a favorite destination for many business travelers.
However, I noticed that you don’t have a blog, something that your top three competitors, [Hotel 1, Hotel 2 and Hotel 3], are using to increase brand awareness and drive traffic to their website.
As a business travel blogger, I write blog content for [2 or 3 hotels publishing your content] and also contribute posts to [relevant blogs or magazines where you contribute].
From my experience in building my own blog [add link] from 0-5,000+ monthly visits, I can help you reach more of your target audience and increase your bookings.
If this sounds like something you would want, let’s schedule a phone chat and see how we can improve your brand awareness and increase bookings.
6. Launch Your Own Blog
When running any kind of online business, the best investment you can ever make is to start a blog.
Having your own blog enables you to run your online business while sharing your expertise through published blog posts. A blog is also an essential part of your personal branding.
As a freelance writer, you’ll need a writer’s website and blog if you’re to be viewed as a pro. Use your website to introduce yourself and your work and the blog to educate readers about your niche and related subjects. You can also monetize your blog to increase your revenue.
When posting to your blog, ensure the content is SEO-optimized content so that you can rank highly in search engine results and receive more traffic to your site. With high-quality content, increase in traffic will lead to increase in writing gigs.
How to Launch Your Own Blog
The first step to launching a blog is to identify a web host.
Considering all the important web hosting features, Bluehost stands out as the best web host. They run their own servers, have affordable rates, give you a free domain name and offer you a one-click WordPress installation.
After installing WordPress, choose a theme and design your blog to your liking. One of the reasons WordPress is loved by many is the freedom it provides for customizing your blog.
There are many beautiful themes you can choose from. Check out ThemeForest for their collection of themes which you can use to design your blog to your satisfaction. You can also opt for website builders like StudioPress and Divi.
Once your blog is set up, sign up with ConvertKit to be able to capture email addresses through your blog. ConvertKit is an email marketing service that stands out for it’s powerful features including email segmentation and high email deliverability rates.
23 Hacks for Finding Hidden Writing Opportunities
As a freelance writer, there’s a lot of work available for you. The challenge however is that you may not know where to find writing jobs.
In fact, one of the biggest challenges most freelance writers face is finding enough work.
To help you solve this problem, here are 23 ways you can find more writing work:
1. Cold pitching
Did you know that cold pitching is one of the quickest ways of landing recurring writing jobs?
Whereas coming up with the email pitch can be challenging, that’s not even the biggest problem here. The biggest challenge is finding the right person to send your pitch to.
Although you can use search services like Google to find prospects, you can’t just go to the “Contact Us” page and copy the info@ email address as the one to send your pitch to. That rarely works.
One way you can find the right leads to contact is by using a tool like UpLead.
UpLead is trusted by some big names in marketing. And the best part is that it validates the email addresses of prospects in real time before you download the data.
2. Find Ghostwriting Jobs
Although a lot of online content is ghostwritten, the real money for ghostwriters comes from writing lengthy content like books. To find the best clients looking for ghostwriters, you’ll have to do some networking.
One of the most notable networking options for ghostwriters is the Association of Ghostwriters.
With networking, it can take you some time to land a gig. However, once you do, you get consistent income for several months as you work on the project.
As with other writing work, you can expect to earn less than your experienced counterparts. Reedsy reports that beginner ghostwriters earn between $2,000 and $9,000 per book. Those with some experience can make between $30,000 and $60,000 per book. If you have a strong portfolio, you can earn more than this.
Before stating the cost of a ghostwriting project, consider the length of the final draft, the project timeline and the amount of research needed.
To stand out and justify asking for high rates, you can do the following:
- Write a book proposal for publishers
- Create content for the author’s website
- Prepare some newsletters for readers
- Write the book description for the book’s Amazon page
Remember to have a contract that clearly sets everything in writing. You’ll want to be specific about things like payment schedules and the number of revisions you can do.
3. Use Twitter Search
Twitter is primarily known for news updates and it’s used by many businesses for customer support. But Twitter can also be a source of freelance writing jobs.
To find writing jobs on Twitter, just use the advanced search function and search for a phrase that is related to freelance writing. Use the filter options to narrow down your search a little bit to avoid wasting time scrolling through irrelevant results.
Here is an example search for the phrase “writers wanted” with additional filters used.
And here are some results from that search:
You can play around with the search terms to unearth writing opportunities while keeping the filters on. You can also save the search and check again regularly to quickly get any results which satisfy your search criteria.
4. Follow Freelance Writing Job Boards on Twitter
Freelance Writing Job Boards are active on Twitter and you can stay ahead of the game by following them. This makes it easy for you to find writing opportunities since they will populate on your feed.
There’s even a small trick to save you some time and energy. Just create a private list and add all the accounts you identify as sources of freelance writing jobs. This enables you to access all their tweets from one place.
After creating your list, just head over to the account you identified, click the menu and select the “Add/remove from Lists” option.
Select the list you created and the account will immediately be added to it.
Here are some accounts you can follow for updates about available freelance writing jobs:
5. Network with Other Freelance Writers
If you want to make money and grow your freelancing business, networking with other freelance writers is a must. Top-earning freelance writers use networking to find new clients.
Networking with other freelance writers, especially the successful ones, will help you get more jobs. Established writers pass on writing jobs to others when they have more than they can handle.
Joining a freelance writers’ community also gives you access to lots of freelancing advice.
This can include anything from how to write better to how to negotiate for higher rates. More than that, you can also get introduced to clients, meaning no proposals or bidding; just the job and the pay.
Some freelance writers’ communities you can join include:
6. Warm Pitching
Warm pitching is easier to do than cold pitching. The only downside is that it takes time and requires patience.
First, you have to identify a potential client then follow and interact with them on social media. After some interaction when you believe you’ve built rapport, reach out to them with your pitch. This process can take time but in the end, it can yield better results than a cold pitch.
Because the prospect already knows you as a connection. It’s easier for someone you’ve already connected with to offer you a writing job than if you were a complete stranger.
7. Indicate That You’re a Writer for Hire
Sometimes, getting a writing job can be as easy as just saying that you’re up for hire. Although it sounds like a no-brainer, not many freelance writers actually do this.
If you think that this isn’t much of a strategy, here is some proof from Elna Cain, one of the successful freelance writers out there:
Early on when I first started freelance writing, I was lucky enough to land a writing job from simply saying I was for hire. A prospect messaged me on LinkedIn and told me another writer had referred me to him. I had no clue who this writer was, so I messaged her back and asked how my name came up in their conversation. She had replied by saying my “for hire” signature had alerted her that I was looking for work! Presto, landed a gig!
To ensure that you don’t lose any opportunity, just add the words “Freelance Writer For Hire” or something similar to your social profiles.
8. Contact Web Design Companies
Did you know that web design companies can be a great source of writing gigs?
These companies are usually contracted to either create new websites or re-design old ones for improved SEO or UX. Obviously, SEO cannot be complete without on-page tactics. Since this requires content, you can get an opportunity to collaborate with them.
Once the designers and technical SEO guys have done their part, their in-house writer takes over. If the work is too much, then they can bring you on board. If content writing is not part of the work they’ve been hired for, they might recommend you to the client.
With such a recommendation, the client is likely to give you at least one gig as a test. Write that well and you’re sure of getting more writing jobs.
9. Pitch to Publications
Publications—even with full-time employees, are normally open to accepting new and unique stories from freelance writers. And the best part? They usually pay if it fits their audience and publication guidelines.
If the publication is a print magazine, you may need to read a copy to familiarize yourself with the kind of content they publish. If it’s an online publication, spend some time reading their blog.
How do you identify which publications accept pitches?
The easiest way to get started is by visiting a library such as the one by All Freelance Writing. Go through the list and pick the ones you want to pitch to.
Another way of knowing which publications accept submissions is by searching on the internet. A search term like “publications which pay for submissions” will give you a list of results with this specific information.
Some popular publications accepting submissions include:
- ROVA – for travel writers
- Edible Seattle – for food and drink writers
- The Sun – for essays and fiction writers as well as poets
Note however that this method doesn’t guarantee recurring work. You’ll have to pitch your story every time you want to make some money from the publication. Since the pay can be good, if you’re successful the first time then you can do it regularly.
10. Join Facebook Groups for Entrepreneurs
If you’re in Facebook groups with friends and former classmates only, then you’re losing out. Facebook groups can be a gold mine of freelance writing jobs.
Many Facebook groups are networking platforms for freelancers who are looking to be hired. While those are okay, you can be smarter and join groups where successful business owners and decision makers network.
Content writing is a service businesses need and you provide it. Why then should you not think of yourself as a business owner?
Joining entrepreneurial groups will help you pick quality leads and build connections which can result in continuous writing opportunities.
The biggest benefit here is that these people understand the value of content marketing and so will pay you better than what you can get elsewhere.
Some Facebook groups for entrepreneurs include:
Take some time and search through the platform. If you see a group that looks like a good fit for you, join, learn the rules and be professional.
Take care not to start posting about your work immediately. Get involved in the conversations. Showcase your expertise and wisdom and your profile will soon receive some visitors.
11. Ask Previous Clients for a Referral
Do you have previous clients who loved your work? Ask them for a referral.
In case you’re afraid of doing that, just ask yourself one question: “What’s the worst that can happen?”
There are only two possibilities here. If they say no, fine. If they agree, you gain. You get an opportunity to wow another client and hopefully get more referrals from them.
To increase the chances of getting a “yes,” make sure you build relationships with this in mind. Be friendly and professional in your interactions and deliver high-quality work according to the client’s needs.
Immediately you deliver the work, before ending the contract, ask them whether they know anyone who could benefit from your services.
12. Ask Friends, Family and Former Colleagues
Did you know that landing a new writing gig could be as easy as asking your friends and family or former colleagues?
This should be your first step when getting started. Whether you’re ditching the 9-5 or getting into freelancing straight out of school, your friends and family most likely know someone who could need your services.
And the best part is that these people are invested in your success so they’ll gladly refer prospects to you. You could also write for them articles if they run blogs or other content for their marketing campaigns. You could then use these to build your portfolio.
Try this before you start investing in other more involving ways of finding clients.
13. Check Sites Which Pay Writers
There are websites which pay writers for guest posts.
This is a big difference from those which accept guest posts for free. Although guest posts which don’t pay also provide value, especially if they’re published in popular blogs, getting paid for it is obviously better.
Landing an opportunity for a paid guest post isn’t the easiest thing to achieve, but it’s possible.
Some of the websites which pay writers include:
- Funds for Writers – pay is $50 for original posts and $15 for reprints
- Better Humans – pay is a flat fee of $500
- Make A Living Writing – pays $75-150 per article
You can also search on the internet for websites which pay writers and you’ll get more of them. Make sure you adhere to their writing guidelines to increase the chances of your pieces being accepted.
14. Join Content Writing or Marketing Agencies
There are entrepreneurs who have created content writing businesses to provide written content to clients. Since the demand for content is high, these businesses are always looking for more writers to join their teams.
You also have marketing agencies focusing on the whole digital marketing suite. Since content writing is part of that, they also need writers.
The global content marketing market is growing and this is fueling the need for more content creators.
Before joining an agency, go through their website to find out the kind of work they need, their rates and their terms. If you’re comfortable with everything, go ahead and join. Start working and earn.
Here are three great content writing and marketing agencies you can check out:
15. Check LinkedIn Jobs
LinkedIn is the social media platform where professionals interact. If you want to get writing jobs more easily, you need to be on LinkedIn.
LinkedIn has a job board which you can search for writing opportunities. Just run a search using a keyword like “freelance writer” and see what you get.
You can go through the various results and check out individual companies to see what exactly they’re looking for. If you find a job you can do well, go ahead and apply.
You can also search for companies which provide content writing services. Connect with a decision maker in the marketing department then send a warm pitch after some interaction.
Your connection can open the door for a writing gig even when they’re not hiring.
16. Check Reddit
Reddit is another social media platform that features mini-forums called subreddits. Subreddits are where experts in different fields discuss topics of interest.
On Reddit, you can find subreddits about writing where freelance writers network and even jobs are posted.
Here are three popular writing subreddits:
As you get involved in the discussions, look out for well-paying jobs advertised by a writing agency or business.
17. Find Clients Hiring Other Writers
Another way of identifying clients is by looking at freelance writers’ portfolios as sources of this information.
Since writers display the names or logos of the clients they’ve written for, you can pick these and begin conducting your research.
Start by searching online for freelance writers in your niche. Identify a couple of them or as many as you want then visit their websites. Every client a freelance writer has written for, is worth your attention.
Head over to those clients’ websites to check out their content and come up with a pitch that shows what you can do for them. If your own portfolio is great, chances are high that the client will hire you too.
18. Get Trained by a Successful Freelance Writer
An easier way of becoming a successful freelance writer is by submitting yourself to training under a successful freelance writer.
Those who have been in the industry for years have a lot to share. They also love pouring out their expertise and experience into others. They therefore could welcome the idea of apprenticeship.
If there’s a writer whose success you admire, get in touch with them and ask for apprenticeship. If you’re not sure which one would be a good fit for you, just search online and follow them on social media for some time. You’ll find one you’re connecting with well.
Offer to help the writer with tasks which he needs help with. This can be anything from research to editing the final draft. He can also ask you to write some content for him. As you improve, he might start sending your way high-paying jobs since he’s confident of your ability to deliver results.
19. Find Content That Needs Improvement
You can also take this unconventional route and go looking for content that needs improvement.
The kind of content to look for includes articles with outdated statistics, blog posts which are not engaging, content that is not easy to read and even the kind that needs some SEO boost.
What do you do when you find such content?
Write an improved version of the content and send it with your pitch. Offer this for free since you were never asked for it anyway then ask the prospect to contact you in case they’re interested in improving more of their website/blog content.
The beauty of this strategy is that you begin by giving value for free, something that not many people do. The lead is likely to see your generosity and initiate a discussion.
Remember to mention in your pitch what value the improved content delivers. It could be that it’s more engaging or it will attract more traffic because of the included keywords.
As long as the benefits are attractive and the post is well-written, you’re likely to land some gigs.
20. Utilize Your Expertise on Quora
Quora is an active Q&A-style social media platform. And you can use it to market your freelance writing services.
The first thing to do is create an outstanding profile, complete with your position as a freelance writer. List how clients benefit from working with you and include a link to your website/blog or portfolio.
With your profile set up, it’s time to search for questions in your niche. Once you find them, use your knowledge to respond with in-depth answers which prove your expertise. If you have written about the subject in your blog or a guest post, point them to it.
As you answer more questions, your expertise will be acknowledged and your blog posts will receive more traffic. This increases your chances of getting writing opportunities from marketers and business owners in that niche.
21. Create a Referral Program
Have you ever been part of any business’ referral program? Such programs promise customers some benefit, e.g. discounts, in return for a referral.
You can come up with something similar for the clients you’ve already worked with and give them a reward for referring others to you.
What rewards can you offer your clients?
It depends on what you can sacrifice as well as the value of the business the referral will bring your way.
You can make this as simple as offering a free article for every three their referral buys.
Businesses too, just like consumers, want to save some money. Be creative in helping them do it and you’ll get more business in the process.
22. Create a Case Study
One of the best ways of attracting a client is by showing them you understand their products. However, instead of just telling them it’s a great product, especially if you’re looking to earn from your compliment, create a case study showing the difference using the product has made.
In the case study, start by describing the situation before knowing about the offering. Talk about how you struggled doing what ought to have been easy. Then transition into how you got to know about the product, how easy it is to use and the benefits it provides.
Include relevant numbers to show the changes you experienced e.g. time spent on a task reduced from 2 weeks to 5 days or how your efficiency increased by 50%.
Learn how to create a case study and make use of your experiences to advertise the products or services you’ve used. You could earn a very good pay using this approach.
23. Qualify Leads Using a Lead Magnet Then Pitch Them
Last doesn’t mean least important, right?
This tactic is a sure-fire way of landing high-quality leads who are already warmed up for your pitch. In fact, some leads might get converted even before you pitch them.
To execute this strategy, you’ll need:
- A blog post to attract your target audience
- A lead magnet e.g. white paper or case study
- A Facebook page
- The Facebook pixel tracker
- Email marketing system like ConvertKit
With an understanding of your target audience and their pain points, come up with a blog post that shows them how to solve their problem. This post should provide helpful and practical advice which can be easily implemented.
Once the post is published, promote it on Facebook and other social media platforms. As people visit your blog to read it, the Facebook pixel will be tracking them and collecting relevant information.
From here, it’s time for some Facebook marketing. Head over to Facebook and create a retargeting campaign targeting those who visited your blog to read your helpful post.
This campaign should offer people the opportunity to download your white paper or case study which clearly shows your expertise in the niche you write in.
Since the targeted audience will remember your post, they will see this as a great follow up on building up on free knowledge. As they download, you get their email addresses and start off an email campaign to warm them up further. These emails should also send traffic to your blog.
Since ConvertKit can segment subscribers based on their browsing behavior on your blog, you’ll be able to know who to send a sales pitch and who needs further warming. At the end of the campaign, you can be sure you’ll have convinced some leads of your abilities.
18 Writing Job Boards and Platforms to Find Writing Jobs Fast
When getting started as a writer, it’s easiest to visit freelance job websites to look for jobs. These have thousands of jobs posted where freelancers can either apply or bid for.
The competition is usually stiff and you can face challenges getting the best jobs if you lack the experience. But as many freelance writers will tell you, you can still land decent-paying jobs. It just comes down to your skill levels and confidence.
Here are 18 job boards from which you can get writing gigs and earn an income, whether part-time or full-time.
Upwork is one of the most popular freelancing platforms and it markets itself pretty well. It has even positioned itself as the champion of freelance work, publishing annual reports on the growth of the freelancing economy.
Working on the platform requires bidding for work, something that can be both scary and disappointing. All the same, this platform has a steady supply of jobs which can help you build your portfolio as a beginner.
You have access to short-term and long-term projects and you can charge clients per hour or per project using milestones.
Rates on the platform vary depending on the client you’re working with and the job you’re working on. On the lower end, you can find jobs paying less than $1 for 100 words. Taking the B2B route can see you get around $10 per 100 words. You can also land gigs paying higher than this.
You’ll decide what rate to charge for jobs paying per hour. All the same, you have to agree with the client for every project.
Fiverr is another popular talent marketplace where you can find freelance writing jobs. Once registered, you create a profile and showcase your work in the form of projects.
Usually, the project will include everything you offer as well as the pay. For writing, this could include the type of content you write (blog posts, social media posts, marketing emails etc), how long the content is and how long it will take you to deliver the work.
The name Fiverr comes from the original marketing slogan that clients can get jobs done for $5. The platform however allows you to indicate how much your services will cost.
SolidGigs is a freelance writing platform which searches for top jobs matching your goals then sends you an email about them. This can be a big relief for freelancers who spend time searching for jobs.
The platform also offers extensive training to its members. As a member, you’ll get material to teach you about pitching, pricing, client acquisition and sales.
Joining SolidGigs will cost you $2 for a 30-day trial. If you like it, you can continue with membership at $19 per month.
FlexJobs is a job board which is known for offering remote jobs. They also have part-time and full-time jobs as well as on-site jobs which have flexible schedules.
One of the best things about FlexJobs is that the jobs posted are vetted to keep the platform free of scams. As such, you can be sure that every opportunity on the platform is legit.
A potential downside is that FlexJobs is not a free service. You pay at least $14.95 every month for membership. They provide a 30-day money-back guarantee which enables you to test the platform and decide if it’s the best for you.
WriterAccess is a platform that started by focusing on freelance writers and is now expanding the type of talent it hosts. The number of creatives joining the platform is increasing and you can join for free too.
Every application is reviewed to ensure members will produce high-quality content. The review process includes going through your portfolio and considering your skills and experience.
There is also a rating system which monitors the quality of work you produce as well as client reviews. Good performance is rewarded by an opportunity to increase your rates and earn more.
nDash is a company that provides content creation software and services. The platform is fully integrated with features like calendars, workflows and payments. It’s also home to the top freelance writers in the world who are experts in their fields.
Joining nDash will open up writing opportunities beyond your imagination. As long as you’re skilled and produce high-quality content, you can easily earn a 6-figure annual income on nDash.
Apart from enabling you to set your rates, nDash allows—and even encourages—you to pitch unique ideas to clients. This enables you to showcase your expertise and obviously, earn more.
Almost 60% of the paid assignments on the platform started with a pitch.
Some of the brands using the platform include LinkedIn, HubSpot, CrazyEgg and ThriveHive.
The ProBlogger job board is one of the most loved alternatives to platforms like Upwork and Fiverr. The biggest fans are bloggers as well as freelancers looking for consistent writing work.
ProBlogger charges clients to post jobs and that helps keep the job board clean with some quality work. Job posts are descriptive enough to help you decide whether you’re able to deliver on the requirements. If you love a job, you just apply.
The job board also provides tips on how to apply for jobs safely and stay away from scams.
Apart from the list of jobs posted, you also get an opportunity to be part of a database which clients can search to find writers.
Blogging Pro is another popular choice for freelance writers and bloggers alike. The jobs posted on this job board usually pay at least $15 per hour, ensuring that you get a decent pay for your efforts.
You can find different categories of jobs on this website including blog post writing, copywriting and journalistic writing.
The different types of work you can find here are contract jobs, freelance, full and part-time jobs, internships as well as temporary jobs.
Contena is specifically made for freelance writers. It comes with a special writing and editing interface called Publish.
Contena Publish is designed to work like a word processor that’s running from within your browser but with no installations. You can write your pieces then publish either publicly or privately. You also get access to over 1 million free images to use in your published pieces.
Contena is a paid membership site and there are different membership options. The basic plan starts at around $40 per month when you pay in full for a whole year.
10. Writers Work
Writers Work is a platform that offers freelance writing jobs in a clean and beautiful way. You get training on how to find clients, how to charge for your work and even how to do your taxes.
To make it easier for you to land gigs, they hunt for jobs which align with your skills and deliver them to your dashboard. They also help you find sites where you can submit your work and get paid for it.
Writers Work understands that distractions can be a hindrance to your earning potential. To help you with that, they have a word processor which keeps distractions at bay. They also have a grammar checker as well as a project management tool.
How much does it cost?
There are two ways to pay to access Writers Work. You can either pay a one-off fee of $94 or a monthly fee of $15.
11. Freelance Writers Den
This website requires you to pay $25 every month for membership. There are however no contracts involved and so you can cancel your subscription any time you want. The membership however is truly worth it when you consider what you get for it.
Freelance Writers Den provides you with over 300 hours of training content and monthly live events. The goal here is to help you become a better writer and grow your income quickly.
The best thing about Freelance Writers Den is that the jobs posted on their board pay well. The lowest-paying jobs here pay at least $50 for a blog post and $100 for an article.
12. Freelance Writing Jobs
Freelance Writing Jobs works a bit differently from other job boards. It allows clients to post jobs at a fee of $30 for 30 days and also searches for jobs online then displays them on its site. Because they hand-pick jobs, you end up having only well-paying gigs to choose from.
The jobs on this board however go beyond writing. You’ll also find jobs like editing and proofreading.
The jobs on the site don’t include rates. Once you’ve been hired, you negotiate your pay with the client. Make sure you have a figure in mind and learn how to negotiate so as not to sell yourself short.
Copify is a content writing company that works with writers to produce website content, blog posts, articles and press releases as well as email copy.
Some big names you can expect when you join the platform include Amazon, eBay, Deloitte, AutoTrader and Lancaster University.
Once your application is approved, you get access to the available jobs without the need to submit proposals or bid. Payments are made daily through PayPal and you can earn up to $30 per 500 words.
14. American Writers And Artists, Institute (AWAI)
This is a company that invests in training its writers to enable them earn top money through copywriting. Copywriting is one of the most lucrative types of writing and as such, writers seek out training to build this skill.
The real cost however comes in the training. The basic copywriting course will set you back $497. That said, since you can get a job at AWAI, and copywriting can pay thousands of dollars per month, the investment is worth it.
The site has lots of writing opportunities although acquiring high-profile clients may take time.
15. Constant Content
This is a premium job board for highly-skilled writers. And to make sure the quality of work remains high, acceptance depends on the quality of work sample you provide and whether you pass a quiz.
If you succeed in your application to join the platform, you can make good money from big companies like Uber, Walgreens and eBay.
The platform leverages proofreaders and editors who provide feedback to help you improve your writing skills.
You can work alone as a freelance writer, in a team or as part of an expert group. Although they don’t mention specific rates, their top writers are reported to be earning up to $90k annually.
Freelancer.com is a job board with over 49 million users across almost 250 countries, regions and territories.
The jobs on this platform require bidding and while some are one-time jobs, others are projects which run for months.
Joining the platform is free. You get to create your profile, select your skills and upload a portfolio. For every job you get from a client, you’re charged 10% of the project cost or $5, whichever is greater.
17. Journalism Jobs
As the name suggests, this job board is ideal for the freelance journalist. If you’re a journalist or write from a journalistic angle, you’ll benefit from the jobs on this site.
Journalism Jobs focuses on newspapers and magazines and is the most popular job board for news writers and journalists.
Mediabistro is a website dedicated to jobs in the media industry. They have job opportunities from big media companies with the jobs ranging from writing to marketing.
The platform has courses which help you build and improve your skills for media-related jobs. They also help you connect with other media professionals, including hiring managers. The website is also simple in design and very easy to navigate.
Although rates vary per job, it’s decent enough to enable you earn a living if you have consistent work. Copywriters have been known to earn over $100 per post.
Freelance Writing Jobs FAQ
Freelance writers, especially beginners and those yet to break through to well-paying jobs, usually wonder how they can make progress. Questions abound and finding answers isn’t always easy.
To help change that, here are the most common freelance writing questions we came across and their answers.
A freelance writer is one who works as an independent contractor, without any employment obligations. He discusses writing tasks with clients, agrees on the requirements and deliverables, then sets out to work.
Freelance writers get paid either based on the number of hours worked, or per project. If working per project, he can work at any time without the need to strictly monitor his hours as long as he finishes the work on time.
Since they don’t have any employment agreements with clients, freelance writers will usually look for clients so as to sustain their income.
Their income is largely determined by their skill level, experience, negotiations skills and consistency in finding new writing jobs.
Starting a freelancing career is easy and doesn’t even require a degree. The most important requirement is the skill you’ll use to do the work. Most skills nowadays can be learned online so starting a freelancing career doesn’t need much money.
Having some experience in using your skills can be a huge plus since that means you can deliver higher-quality work. All the same, you don’t need experience to get started. Many freelancers start with only a passion for the niche they’re working in and a desire to learn and earn.
Once you build a portfolio and have some experience, ditch the freelance writing platforms and look for clients through other means like pitching, networking and referrals.
Build a writer website complete with a blog, choose an invoicing tool and start building your online business.
There are three main ways to find freelance jobs. The first is by joining freelancing platforms like Upwork, SolidGigs and Fiverr. This is the easiest way to get started if you don’t have a lot of experience.
Another way to find freelance jobs is by responding to job ads. There are websites such as ProBlogger and BloggingPro where clients advertise freelancing jobs. You then apply for the job you qualify for.
The other main way of finding freelance jobs is by cold or warm pitching. Cold pitching involves identifying a prospect then sending them a proposal about your services. Warm pitching is where you first develop a connection with the prospect before contacting them with a proposal.
Not many freelancers use pitching because it’s a challenging process. This method can however result in a freelancer landing very high-paying jobs.
The income of freelance writers varies greatly because of the many factors which determine their pay.
Apart from a freelancer’s own skills, work ethics and experience, his confidence levels can also affect his decisions on client choice and negotiation.
The client can also be a factor to consider. If the client doesn’t have the budget for a high rate, this will affect the writer’s income.
Generally speaking, beginners at the lowest end of the pay scale can earn $0.5 per 100 words. Those at the middle of the scale earn on average $10 per 100 words. Pro writers command higher rates and can even earn $1 for every word written.
The bottom line is, if you develop the right mindset and put in the work required, you can attain financial freedom.
If you have no writing experience, it’s best to start writing just to practice even if you don’t have a client. Just come up with an idea and start writing about it.
Once you’re done, take a break then come back to edit. As you make corrections, you’ll improve your writing.
You can also take online courses which teach different writing skills. You can find some affordable writing courses on Udemy, Teachable or Thinkific. You can also take a course by one of the pro writers. One such writer is Carol Tice of Make A Living Writing.
Taking online writing courses will give you the skills you need and build your confidence. From there, head over to freelance writing job boards and apply for a job.
The highest paying writing jobs are copywriting and white paper writing. Copywriting is lucrative because it helps businesses sell their products and services. white papers on the other hand are technical and require a lot of expertise and research to write well.
When it comes to niches, the most lucrative are technology, including SaaS, finance and digital marketing. Also, writing in the B2B space will make you more money than in the B2C space.
Freelance writing work is paid for by the client who hires the writer. This can be a business owner, another freelancer, individual customer in need of content or even big corporations.
Clients usually provide requirements and set the deadline, although these are agreed upon by both parties. The freelance writer then undertakes the necessary research and writes as per the client’s requirements.
After the client approves of the work done, he pays the freelancer. Payments are usually made through checks, Stripe, PayPal or mobile money transfer.
For a freelancing platform like Upwork, clients are required to deposit money in an escrow account before the work begins.
No, you don’t need a degree to become a freelance writer. What you need is an ability to write well.
If your grammar is good and you can write engaging content, you can make money writing. In case your writing is not very good, then you can use a tool like Grammarly to check for grammar mistakes.
The most important thing is to keep improving your skills so that you can command higher rates.
Ready to Make More Money with Your Writing Skills?
If you are a freelance writer, congratulations for overcoming fear and moving to make money through your skills. If you know you can write but are still on the fence about starting a freelance writing business, we urge you to make the move today.